The MS Tûranor PlanetSolar anchored in the St. John’s Harbour yesterday afternoon. The gigantic catamaran is the world’s largest solar boat and in 2012 became the first boat to complete a trip around world powered exclusively by solar energy.

On its current multipurpose expedition, crew members aboard PlanetSolar are conducting scientific research in gathering data along the Gulf Stream with the goal of gaining new insight into oceanic influence on climate. With a trawling net that can collect up to 8 tons of marine pollution, the boat will also take part in a campaign to reduce the amount of floating plastic waste in European waters.

The PlanetSolar was born as an idea by a Swiss eco-adventurer and German businessman. It embarked on its maiden voyage in Sept. 2010. It’s arrival in St. John’s marks the boat’s northernmost positioning so far in its young history. It will depart St. John’s for the United Kingdom on Aug. 5.

For more information on the boat, its crews and expeditions, visit

Justin Brake (he/him) is an independent journalist from Newfoundland who currently lives on unceded Algonquin territory in Ottawa.